About The Artist - Merrilee Drakulich
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Merrilee Drakulich was born and raised in northeast Pennsylvania. She earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana, and her Master of Arts in painting from California State University in Long Beach. An artist for over forty years, her paintings have been made available through exhibitions and art galleries throughout North America, the West Indies and Europe.
Her involvement with the landscape began after college during the sixteen years she lived in Jamaica, West Indies. Intense Caribbean sunlight afforded her an opportunity to develop interplay of light and shadows that became central to her work. Themes such as water, objects within the landscape, and views framed by windows dominated her work throughout the 1980's. Large areas of colors that reflect a minimal and abstract approach to the subject matter became dominant in her work.
In Art History, News and Reviews, Petrine Archer wrote in her Art Works - A Gendered View: Diary Pages 1980-90, "When women artists addressed social concerns in their paintings . . . it was allegorised and framed by nature. Their anxieties took the form of doorways (Merrilee Drakulich View From the Study 1983), windows . . . that seemed to provide escape routes into interior spaces, far from the cacophony of the outside world." That framing edge and genre of escapist imagery is seen time and again in works by Merrilee Drakulich.
In the early l990's, she left Jamaica and accepted the invitation of Atkins Fine Art where she lived and painted the landscape of the Auvergne in south central France, noted for its vast areas of open spaces, golden sunlight and skies pressing down on the land. She eventually developed a personal vocabulary through her painting to express the complexities of the landscape.
When traveling to Normandy, France, her first impression was of a sky and ocean with the most beautiful and ever-changing light she had ever seen. This provided her with two important elements for her early paintings of Normandy - first the framed window view of the sky and the dark sea viewed from the German block houses along the water - and second the light and colors of the sky which seemed to skip along the water. Besides the intense light, the sky was ever-changing. One minute it could be raining and the next minute beautiful clouds would build up along the horizon. After completing her first series of Normandy paintings, she decided to move away from the framework of the block house windows and focus on a series of paintings with borders to achieve a more abstract vision as if we are caught up in a moment of time.
In 2001, she had the opportunity to live in Tokyo. This experience gave her the inspirations to paint a series of landscapes based on her experiences as viewed throughout Japan.
Still retaining a minimal and abstract approach, there is an almost obsessive fascination with clouds, the sea, the land and objects within the landscape. Since coming home to reside and paint again in northeastern United States, the combination of living in Jamaica, France, Japan, and the U.S. has led her to a very personal perspective of expression.
California State University, Long Beach, CA
Bachelor of Fine Arts in Studio Art, 1967
Indiana University, Bloomington, IN